BATSIRANAI CRAFT PROJECT (ZIMBABWE)
What Your Gift Will Do
Your gift will support mothers generate income to provide and care for their children with special needs.
"Batsiranai" translates as "helping each other". Batsiranai Craft Project is a self-help group of families with special needs children who work together to care for their children and generate income through selling their handicrafts.
The mission of Batsiranai Craft Project is to:
Assist the families to negotiate the complex economic, medical, and educational requirements for a special needs child to develop to their full potential.
Create and expand a social entrepreneurial handicraft business so that mothers can work near their homes to support the needs of their families.
Enable mothers to gain skills as community leaders to promote women's empowerment in Zimbabwe.
Batsiranai began in 1998 when fourteen mothers of disabled children formed a support group. Their talent for embroidery inspired them to begin making handicrafts to provide an income for their families. They named their group “Batsiranai” which means “helping each other” in Shona, the local language.
When Lynn Poole moved to Zimbabwe in 2001, she joined Batsiranai as an advisor. With Lynn’s help the project grew from 14 families to its current size, 30 families.Lynn’s fervent hope for Batsiranai is to create a secure future for the children. Lynn is acutely aware that when a mother of a child with special needs passes away, the survival of the child is at huge risk. Since the life expectancy in Zimbabwe is a mere 37 years, being orphaned is a frequent occurrence.
In 2009, the Dalai Lama awarded Lynn the honor of an “Unsung Hero of Compassion.” She was recognized for her tireless work with Batsiranai and represents the countless people in the world also helping others. Lynn states that "seeing the transformation of the mothers and the families into empowered, wise, strong, confident women with curious, happy, well-nourished children is the most rewarding part of my work.”